Six interesting clubs you didn’t know existed at UF
Don’t knock it until you try it.
In a school harboring 750+ clubs, finding the right one can be difficult. However, as you're making plans for the upcoming semester, think about checking these out!
Founded 20 years ago, the Falling Gators aim to “promote safe skydiving and get as many college age students involved in the sport as possible,” said Taylor Thelander, President of Falling Gators. Meetings are held within the first week of every month, depending on members' availability. No experience is required to join.
To be considered an active member, one must have a minimum of one dive (Accelerated free falls and tandems jumps count!) Having a home drop zone at Skydive Palakta, there are no dues for the club, as its funding from Student Government allows them to buy rigs of various sizes. All that's left to do is to “take those 20 seconds of terrifying courage and just make a jump," says Thelander.
Though it started only a year ago among three students with a dream, Gator Bitcoin allows for an open discussion about cryptocurrency with some of the leading speakers in the industry. They meet every Wednesday at 6 p.m., and if you're lucky, they'll do an airdrop of currency sponsored by Bitcoin.com. This is a great club to join if you "have curiosity and want to learn more about cryptocurrency," have an innovative and entrepreneurial mindset or want to attend national bitcoin conferences says Antonio Gomes, Vice-President of Gator Bitcoin. All past meetings are recorded, and you can find out about future meetings at gatorbitcoinclub.com or by checking out their Facebook page.
A club comprised of less than fifteen individuals, Belly Gators is the perfect club to join if you're looking for a relaxed, fun dance style that emphasizes self-image acceptance and core-muscle workouts. They meet every Monday at 6:15 p.m. in the Reitz Union dance studios (located downstairs). The Belly Gators begin class by reviewing basic moves and formations and then go on to teach a short routine.
Contrary to popular belief, males are warmly accepted into the belly dancing community, but Christina Metral, President of Belly Gators, asks that you come with an "appreciation for the dance with a genuine interest." The Belly Gators perform locally upon request and are set to attend a belly dance exhibition at FSU in early December. Private lessons are also available — taught by members Metral and Caty McFarlane. Belly dance is "not just pole dancing, it's not just a sexual dance, it’s a beautiful art-form," says McFarlane.
Meeting every other Monday at 7:30 p.m., The Exotic Animals Club features speakers from the UF Veterinary school, among other staff members, that discuss research and invite discussion. Within the club, conservation measures are discussed and put into place at facilities such as Carson Springs and Jungle Friends. Club cook-outs additionally allow for a chance to show your exotic animal(s) off. This club is open to all majors, allowing everyone to learn more about exotic animals from those that have spent their professional livelihoods researching them. Pre-vet majors have the added advantage of being able to meet speakers and gain connections in their intended field.
Looking toward spring semester, as they aren't currently officially affiliated within the university, Gator Comics aims to introduce and provide an area for discussion of comics, superhero movies and manga. Raisa Karium Bhuiyan, President of Gator Comics, would like to remind everyone that “as long as you have an interest, regardless of what type of comic book medium you choose to consume, you can still be a fan.”
The club plans to host movie nights, trips to comic stores, etc. No personal possession of comic books is necessary to join. Bhuiyan will provide all comics in digital form, asserting that she'll "give somebody a prize if they can find a comic that [she] can't provide for you.”
Alagarto: UF's Printmaking Guild
Meeting every other Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in room FAC318, Alagarto provides printmaking demonstrations, safety lessons on how to use the equipment and allows for members to learn about different methods of printmaking. No prior art experience is required, and the club provides all necessary materials.
To satisfy your query, “printmaking is the addition or rejection of a surface which ink is then rolled onto or pushed into and then with force from the press, ink is transferred onto the paper and you can make multiples of the block you’ve designed,” says Megan Kean, Vice-President of Algarto. They are currently involved in a collegiate print block exchange, which provides an opportunity to gather artwork from other printmaking clubs. Meetings typically consist of a demonstration and then open-work time to receive feedback from peers as a way to explore an eclectic art-form in a supportive and educational environment.